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Last year, one of my constituencies, Bob Miller, told me a story that I will never forget.
Bob is a 71-year-old on Medicare who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), an unpredictable and debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system. For over a decade, Bob relied on Betaseron to treat multiple sclerosis flares and prevent disease progression.
But over the years, Bob has seen the cost of this life-sustaining drug skyrocket. I was forced to stop taking the medications I relied on to manage my sclerosis. Even with insurance coverage, this drug was too expensive.
Bob’s situation broke my heart, but his story is not unfamiliar to me. We live in one of the richest countries in the world, yet many Minnesotans wonder every month if they can refill the prescriptions they rely on every day. The fact that so many Minnesotans share this common struggle is unconscionable.
Earlier this month, I was proud to play a role in making the Control Inflation Act a reality so that we can finally start tackling the cost of prescription drugs. We will no longer have to pay more than a dollar for insulin, Medicare seniors will be able to access vaccines for free, and drug companies will have to reimburse taxpayers for prescription drug costs. Rise faster than inflation. For the first time in history, Medicare will have the power to negotiate fair prices for certain medicines on behalf of seniors like Bob.
This bill will lower the cost of out-of-pocket prescription drugs for millions of Americans. This is an important advancement that will ultimately require big pharma to compete. This is already what we have to do as we compete to serve our senior citizens.
I was disappointed to read a recent comment from Glen Taylor, owner of the Star Tribune, outlining his opposition to these historic healthcare reforms (“Healthcare change hurts many Americans”). “,August 21). So I thought I’d take a look at the implications of this bill.
The Inflation Reduction Act protects 820,000 Minnesotans enrolled in Medicare from price hikes by Big Pharma, limits pharmacy costs to $2,000 a year, and cuts 85,000 Minnesotans into hundreds of dollars in health insurance premiums. Save money and provide free access to vaccines for 87,000 Minnesota seniors with Medicare. Limit insulin costs to $35 a month for 47,000 Minnesotans with Medicare, expand the ACA tax credit to give 27,000 Minnesotans access to health insurance, and help Minnesota’s 25,000 small businesses Allow employers and the self-employed to enroll in health insurance. Access affordable medical insurance.
Ultimately, this measure will help thousands of Minnesotans access the medical care, care, and insurance they need to live safe and healthy lives.
In addition, I would like to remind Mr. Taylor that large employers like him and commercial insurers have a role to play in this battle. They possess a tremendous amount of market power and the unique ability to effectively push back price increases from pharmaceutical companies. It empowers Medicare to do what it’s been able to do for decades: negotiate the price you pay for prescription drugs.
The Control Inflation Act was not written in a hurry overnight. This is a comprehensive, financially responsible bill that will improve the quality of life and lower the cost of living for thousands of Minnesotans. Of course it’s not perfect. But seeing all we’ve accomplished this summer alone makes me more optimistic than ever, and enacting additional life-saving reforms is within our reach.
Prior Lake’s friend Bob says the Inflation Reduction Act will provide him and thousands of Minnesotans with “peace of mind” and assurance that they will be able to buy life-saving and life-sustaining drugs. I said it best when This is a historic breakthrough that cannot and should not be taken lightly.
Democrat Angie Craig represents Minnesota’s second congressional district.